H2A agriculture visa is for applicants to fill temporary agricultural jobs for which US workers are not available. H2A agriculture visa applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Job offered must be of a temporary or seasonal nature;
- Employer must demonstrate that there are not sufficient US workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work;
- Employer must show that the employment of H2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers; and
- Labor certification from the US Department of Labor must be submitted with the H2A petition. (A limited exception to this requirement exists in certain “emergent circumstances.
H2A agriculture visa applicants may only be nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the program. The list of H2A eligible countries can be found on the USCIS website. H2A agriculture visa applications from a country not on the list may still qualify if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that it is in the US interest.
USCIS may grant H2A agriculture visas for the period of time authorized on the temporary labor certification which is usually authorized for no longer than one year. H2A agriculture visas may be extended for qualifying employment in increments of up to one year. The maximum period of stay in H2A classification is three years. H2A agriculture visa holders that held such status for a total of three years is required to depart and remain outside the US for an uninterrupted period of three months before seeking readmission.
US sponsors of H2A agriculture visa applicants must notify USCIS within two workdays in the case of any of the following incidents:
- No show: Failure to report to work within 5 work days of the employment start date on the H2A petition or within 5 work days of the start date established by the petitioner, whichever is later;
- Absconder: Failure to report for work for a period of 5 consecutive workdays without the consent of the employer;
- Termination: Terminated prior to the completion of agricultural labor or services for which he/she was hired; or
- Early Completion: Completes the agricultural labor or services for which he/she was hired more than 30 days earlier than the date specified in the H2A petition.